We already wrote a post describing what a literally bruising affair the AFT season finale at Charlotte was, but, in case you haven't seen this widely shared video, this is the crash that ended Briar Bauman's title challenge, and nearly put Sammy Halbert in orbit.
Long-term fans of the sport won't need reminding that Sammy Halbert races with the number 69, in honour of his brother Jethro, who died in August 2015, as a result of a crash in a grand national race, at Calistoga the previous September. He has a few weeks of recovery to
This sport can be brutal. Making air vests mandatory has helped, and the sport's commitment to air fences is commendable (though I don't think a pro sport could survive the scrutiny of racing without them in 2021), but still, there is nowhere for a crashed bike to go, except back into the racing line, and that can not be changed, at least not with current technolgy. Sammy changed line to miss Bauman's prone body, but it meant he hit the bike at close to 100mph. It's only luck that we're not dealing with another life-changing outcome, or worse.
I race knowing it's dangerous, and obviously never think it's going to happen to me, but the difference is, if I'm not feeling it on raceday, I can choose to sit out and no one cares. It's very different for a pro, who has the team, sponsors and their whole livelihood to consider.
This is not an easy fix, if it's fixable at all, for dirt track.